Moscow – Kiev: what remains Putin ?

The anti-terrorist action of Kiev’s authorities begins to be effective. This  is to be observed in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and in Lugansk in the East Ukraine. The local population , according to some reports,  is supporting  the Ukrainian national guard which provides the action. Terrorists are making losses and get captured . Important to assess the situation, is what has happened in Odessa. A try of  Russian provocation proved to be completely unsuccessful, what ended tragically for the pro-Russian saboteurs. When they made an attempt to break up the proukrainian demonstration, the Ukrainians  forced them to withdraw to one of the urban buildings. When the terrorist  started firing from  the building to the people the building was set on fire. In this case, it’s not the army , but the Ukrainian people began to defend himself. Accidents in Odessa are certainly a warning to the criminal element that is the core led by Russian spetsnaz alleged separatism. Meanwhile, the hostages from the OSCE mission were freed in Sloviansk. The merit claims Vladimir Lukin , the Russian human rights ombudsman . It is difficult to determine whether this may indicate a slow withdrawal of the Kremlin. One should add that Lukin was a guest (as a private person) of Akhmetov and the role of this oligarch and of his game balancing between Moscow and Kiev (despite the assurances of loyalty to the current government ) is not clear. It is also possible that the release of the OSCE hostages is the result of pressure exerted by the Ukrainian antiterrorism action. If indeed the Kremlin begins to retreat (which can be treated only as a hypothesis), it could be associated  to  two major events of the last week, connected with  an increasingly strong response from the West to the Putin politics. It is  the Obama – Merkel meeting in Washington and tripartite meeting in Warsaw, EU- Ukraine –Russia the announcement of future negotiation of common prices for energy imported from Russia for all EU-countries. Moscow attaches particular importance to its relation with  Berlin calculating at the same time that get along with special rules (such plans spins part of the Kremlin advisors). Joint US- German position is therefore to Moscow serious warning. The common energy prices for EU deprives Moscow in consequence of the ” gas weapon ” that Putin is trying to use from almost the beginning of their governments. Putin clearly begins to incur losses in the current phase of the conflict. What remains to him is a very risky decision, which would be an invasion of Ukraine. On the other hand, one can also conclude that most likely he will soon have to fight for political survival at home. Today  Putin seems to control the situation  but he may become a victim of his own propaganda. He warmed up nationalist sentiment so much that a need to withdraw from eastern Ukraine could be perceived in Russia as his defeat and the signal of his weakness. At the same time the Russians will start to notice more and more the effects of the economic reaction in the West, the cost of maintaining the Crimea and the isolation of their own country. The situation in Russia can become an even more unclear than the current situation in the east of Ukraine.

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